Kathmandu, Nepal (PressExposure) June 08, 2014 -- Gorkha was the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, conqueror of the Kathmandu Valley and founder of modern Nepal. It's a major pilgrimage destination, particularly for Newars, who regard the Shah kings as living incarnations of Vishnu. The main attraction here is the Gorkha Durbar, the former palace of the Shahs, which lords over Gorkha from a precarious ridge above the town.
Day 01: Kathmandu - Ghairung (1090M) - 3 Hour drive, 10 minutes cable car and 5 hours trek Manakamana cable car station at Kurintar is 3 hours drive from Kathmandu where a 10minute long Nepal's only cable car leads to the Manakamana devi temple at the hill top (1315m als ). The temple dates back to 17TH century. Manakamana devi is believed to be the wish fulfilling goddess and every year millions of devotees from Nepal and abroad pay visit to this temple. Legend has it that a king of Gorkha was blessed by the goddess to get victory over small kingdoms in pursuit of making a big Gorkha.
After lunch session at Manakamana bazaar, begins the first leg of the trek to Bakyaswori Mahadeva temple (1515m) situated 2km North of Manakamana temple. It is believed that goddess Sati's tongue fell at Bakyaswori Mahadeva, and the shrine has spiritual power to provide speech to speechless. According to the Prieat, many mute children have gained speech after offering prayers to the shrine.
About 500m for the further uphill is a Siddha lakhan thapa (founder of the Manakamana telple) sacred cave which also offers a magnificent view of Manaslu Himalayan ranges. Right next to the cave is a 250 years old temple built during the reign of king Prithvi narayan shah.
After this, the trek descends to Tinmane Bhanjyang, a brief stop for tea break. The village also offers a home stay facility. Trek for Day one concludes at Pipalchap village at Ghairung VDC. No commercial lodging is available; however the village has a home stay service with genuine local food and rooms.
Main attraction of the village is a temple dedicated to Himalaya Devi which is visited by thousand of devotees from different part of Gorkha. The temple bears a big bell dating back to 1949 BS (1886AD). Day 02: Trek to Gorkha bazaar via Bungkot, Kaule Bhangar (First Martyr Lakhan Thapa Village) (900m) - 5 hours
Bungkot is a historic birth place of Lakhan Thapa, the first martyr of Nepal. Lakhan thapa (1891-1933 BS) was hanged to death with friend Jaising Chumi Magar at his own home on Falgun 2, 1933 BS for opposing the tyrant Rana Regime. Many people visit kaule bhangar to pay tribute to the first martyr of the nation.
Apart from it's historical significance, other attraction is Lakhan Thapa memorial park built in the commemoration of the first martyr where a bust of the martyr has been stalled. The park has a collection of Lakhan Thapa's belongings like swords and stone spout. Interestingly, locals have stepped up efforts in preserving these artifacts without any external assistance.
Majority of the population in the village is from Magar community. Bungkot offers a home stay facility and delicious delicacy made with fresh and locally grown produce. From here, Gorkha bazaar is 1.5 hours walk, the district headquarter of Gorkha. There several options for accommodation - 3 star to budget hotels- in Gorkha bazaar. Day 03: Gorkha excursion
The historical Gorkha Palace from where king Prithvi Narayan Shah initiated unification of modern Nepal is perched 1000 feet above Gorkha bazaar; the palace dominates the surroundings and is visible from all surrounding area. It is regarded as a holy shrine. It also offers visitors with fantastic views of Green valleys and the himalayan Panorama. The palace also boasts beautiful architecture.
The cave of Gorakhnath is the situated about 10m below the palace. The cave is believed to be the shelter of Gorakhnath Baba after whom the district obtained it's name. The sage was the guide of shah dynasty who blessed and provided his precious guidance to the dynasty for the unification of nation.
Gorkha Museum is situated at Gorkha Bazaar. It has a wide range of artifacts and personal belongings of king Prithvi Narayan Shah along with his 52feet long chino (birth details). Apart from these collections it has also wide range of object such as art, sculptures, coins and several other articles on display.
Day 04: Drive and Trek from Gorkha Bazzar - Sirandada (1900m)
Bhachek is about 6-7 hours of bus/jeep drive from Gorkha bazaar.Driving through curvaceous mountain roads overlooking daraudi River is athrilling experience. Sirandanda,the final leg of day four,is arrived after a short hike of one hour from Bhachek.
A Hyolmo village, it is situated at the hill top from where it's name has been derived to Sirandada. Major attractions of Sirandanda are; Nagpokhari, Dudhpokhari, Bhot dodhar, Chima, Dharadi and tea garden.It also offers a mmagnificent view of sunrise and stunning Manaslu range. The village has a rich diversity of medical herbs like nirmasi, jadamasi, jatamasi, rato unyu, yarsagumba, satuwa etc. home stay facility is available in the village. Agriculture produce of the village is organic potato and unprocessed tea leaves. It is one of the few villages in Gorkha district to produce its own tea (not a commercial production).
Sirandanda is struggling to find its place in the tourist map despite the overwhelming scenic beauty of its landscape.
Day 05: Trek to Barpak Village (1920m) - 7 hours walk
After a walk of about 1.5 hours towards Northeast is Mathar village which is at an elevation of 1970m asl. Further at a distance of 1.5 km lies Ghyachowk, a stopover for lunch where one can ask local to prepare lunch. The destination for the fifth day i.e. Barpak village is at a walking of about 4.5 hours from Ghyachowk. En route to Barpak are Dewalsara, Sum River, Daraudi River, Goje and Alagang.
Barpak, mostly inhabited by ex-army men, is also known as the village of late Capt. Gage Ghale who was honored with Victoria Cross Medal. Gurung and Ghale community comprises the major population of this village. It has all the basic amenities such as 24-hour electricity, internet facility, medical service, and hotels. It has road access and buses from Kathmandu commutes on a daily basic (except monsoon season). The unique sloppy shape with clustered stone tile-roofed houses, stone built narrow alleys and panoramic view of Buddha Himal are the major attraction of Barpak. For accommodation, the village offers well organized home stay facility along with standard hotels. Barpak has gained many national and international acclaims - nominated as a unique destination for Nepal Tourism Year 2011; provide their warm hospitality to many noted personals, among them is German Chancellor Dr Roman Herzog. Day 06: Trek to Laprak Village (2100m) - 6 hours walk
While on way to Larpak, one will come across Basukang (a junction that also leads to Rupinala Pass- famous destination among Manaslu trekkers). Larpak village (28.29 N and 84.78 E) located at Larpak VDC is a landslide in 1999 swept away houses and about 12 hectares of cultivated land. Since then, the villagers are living in constant fear (usually during the summer mansoon). More damages were were reported in 2002, 2006, and 2007 due to landslides (Gurung, et al. 2011).
Unlike other villages of Nepal, all 9 wards of the VDC are clustered together. The temperature is warm and cool from April to October and cold and snowfall from November to March. The most notable character of Laprak is the wooden roofed houses which bears a uniform look in the entire VDC. Laprak typical Gurung village is also a pit stop for the Manaslu trekkers. There are 2 hotels available for accommodation. Laprak is also accessible from Tatopani in the East and Gumba village in the South.
The village is home to late lman Singh Gurung, first person from the Gurung community from western Nepal to summit Mt Everest. Most of the villagers are engaged in tourism business and few of them have also earned international recognition. Day 07: Trek to Nambai Kharka (2700m) - 4 hour walk
The kharka (pasture or cowshed) is arrived after a moderate walk of 4 hours from Laprak. The kharka is an open pasture land with few temporary houses of Laprakis (people of Laprak) which provides them shelter during plantation and harvest period of potatoes. Trekkers need to be self-sufficient for food and lodging. There is no toilet facility as well. During the stay in Nambai Kharka, it is advised that one should stick with vegetarian diet as locals believe that slaughtering of animals will bring ill to the trekkers.
Day 08: Weak up early and hike to Dharche Danda (3220m) for sunrise view and majestic sightings of Manaslu Himalayan ranges, then trek to Tallo Thotneri (1560m) - 7 hours walk
Dharche, the highest point of the lower Manaslu trekking route, offers a breathtaking 180 degree panoramic view of more than 20 Himalayan peaks. Among Gurung Community, Dharche Danda (hill) holds a religious significance. They offer prayer to the hill deity to avoid natural calamities. Also no felling of tree is allowed in the area. It is also believed that if tourists offer prayer to hill deity, they will be blessed with clear visibility and will ward off misfortune while on trek. Some of the prominent peaks that can be viewed from the top of Dharche are; Annapurna, Annapurna I, Annapurna ii, Bharatsikhar, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Lamtang, Himalchuli, Buddha Himal, Sarang Peak, Malkunti Peak, Babu Himal, Sringi Himal, Ganesh Himal i, Ganesh Himal ii and Ganesh Himal iii among many others.
The eight day of the journey ends at Tallo Thotnery, a village enriched with Gurung Culture. No commercial lodging facility is available but tourists have an option for home stay where they will share local highlights (Gurung dance and local delicacies). The place also offers major attractions such as; Sita Cave situated in the southwest and Olajung Danda.
Day 09: Trek to Ghyampesal via Sita Cave 6 hours walk
The famous cave is reached after walking down 1.8 km from Tallo Thoteneri .The cave is situated at 1165 m asl. Sita Cave, surrounded by dense forest, holds a religious significance among Hindus and it is one of the major tourist attractions. Every year during Ram Nawami which is celebrated on the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Chaitra (March and April) thousands of Hindu devotees gather to pay homage to Lord Ram. It is believed that goddess Sita, wife of Lord Ram, spent some time and and stayed here. The caving experience in Sita Cave is thrilling and adventurous.
After touring the cave we end the day in Ghyampesal, the final destination of the trek, which is few hours walk for the Sita cave for overnight stay on camp or home stay.
Day 10: Drive from Ghyampesal to Kathmandu Bus departs at 8 am (daily) to Gorkha Bazaar which is 2.5 hours drive from Ghyampesal. Then after go back to Kathmandu. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Note: It is possible to combine with some other activities such as white water rafting and wildlife safari. The itinerary can be customized according to your duration of holiday.
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